ZIF connector latch broken in Apple Logic Board

Discussion in 'Apple and Mac OS X' started by Jakamo5, May 5, 2017.

  1. Jakamo5

    Jakamo5 Tetra Vaal

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    Hi Everyone,

    Sorry that I'm not initially attaching any pictures, I'm currently in the process of backing up the iPod Classic in question, so don't wanna open it up, but I'll try to reply back here with some pictures.

    I'm trying to repair a iPod Classic 160gb (Thin) that had some water damage, resulting in it only working while plugged in to the power cable (when you removed the cable, it switched to the message where it says plug into power). Unfortunately, it also didn't communicate with any PCs, so I couldn't perform a backup of all the music on there.

    First thing I tried was battery replacement, then when that didn't work, I tried cleaning the logic board with 90% isopropyl. I noticed the pins connecting the battery ZIF connector to the logic board had some corrosion, along with other places on the board, so at the end of it all, I decided to just buy a tested but used logic board (for $100! ugh).

    When the new logic board arrived, I installed it, and ran into new issues: 1) All the music in the hard drive was now showing up as "Other", and so I have to manually transfer the music to my PC and then back to iTunes, restore the iPod, then re-sync. 2) The clickwheel seemed to be non-responsive. This wasn't an issue on the broken/corroded board, so that was concerning.

    Number 1 isn't that big a deal, except that I guess the iPod is Fat32, and Windows 10 File Transfer is garbage no matter what I try (write cache on, etc), and drops to 0kb/s speed and hangs after only transferring about 30 songs. I had to try about 10 different Third Party apps before I found one that was actually able to back up the songs without hanging and freezing on any of the files (I'm using Wondershare ItunesGo, but for the record, the transfer is still in progress and not even complete, but it's gotten way further than any others).

    Number 2 is the worse one. I found that I was able to wiggle the cable, push it flat near the connector, and sometimes I would get the ipod to boot through the menu button and have a responsive clickwheel for a moment. Unfortunately, I tried adjusting the ribbon in the ZIF connector too many times, and caused the little black flap/latch on the connector to break off, even though I was being careful, I guess I just flips it once too many times, it was so small and fragile. If you go to Step 36 here, https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iPod+Classic+Click+Wheel+Replacement/571, you can see what I'm talking about. Now, I can't get any clickwheel response, except occasionally I can get the iPod to power up if I wiggle the ribbon enough and click the menu button at the same time (I realize this is dangerous, probably not good to mess with the components while powered, but I don't know how else to test).

    So I did a lot of research into repairing ZIF connectors, and most people say it's hard/not worth it to actually try to replace them, but most use tape to keep the ribbon from sliding out of the connector, or use a piece of plastic wedged in with the ribbon to keep it from sliding out. I can't do that, because the opening for the ribbon to slide in seems to have just enough room for only the ribbon. I suppose I could use tape, but my concern is that won't keep the ribbon's leads pressed down against the pins in the connector snugly enough.

    But here's my other concern -- ZIF Connectors don't seem to be documented too well in my limited research. I'm wondering if this specific clickwheel connector requires its latch more than others, because the latch was on the OPPOSITE side of where the ribbon slides in, and the latch seemed to have pushed down copper pins on the opposite side. I don't know if that formed some sort of connection for those copper pins that's required here, or if those copper pins were just for the purpose of putting pressure on the non-conductive (top) side of the ribbon to keep it in place.

    Looking for advice. It hurts me to have paid for a $100 replacement logic board only to break a small piece of plastic and have that go down the drain. Secondly, is it worth trying to replace the click wheel first?

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